By Shailendra Kumar
Riverdale, MD: I refer to the news item with headline — US government releases stamp on Hindu deities — published in India Tribune dated September 18.
At first glance, it appeared like great news. However, at close perusal, it appears the news item is only an illusion. The real stamp commemorating any Hindu subject is still not a reality, in spite of half-a-million petitions, and a few House and Senate resolutions over past 10 years.
We urge our community to continue contacting their lawmakers (US Congressmen and Senators), or write to Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, C/o US Postal Service, Stamp Services, 1735 North Lynn Street, Suite 5013, Arlington, VA 22209-6432 or e-mailing to PMGCEO@usps.gov or http://www.usps.com for Diwali postage stamp.
As part of personal stamp program, US Postage Service (USPS) can issue any stamp anyone wants on a limited basis for their use for some extra cost plus the actual stamp cost.
This Ganesh stamp, which the news items talks about, is not a formal, officially released stamp. Additionally, this program of depicting some Indian gods/goddesses may undermine our effort for real Diwali stamp for use by all Americans.
We strongly feel that our efforts about Diwali postage stamp are historic. It meets all criteria for a new stamp and perhaps no other community has shown such perseverance and patient as we have. It is high time the USPS issued a Diwali stamp.
The proposal “remains under consideration by the USPS,” but the release of Diwali commemorative stamp is what we are waiting for.
(Shailendra Kumar is the chairman of the Committee for Diwali Postage Stamp Riverdale, MD. He can be reached at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)